By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

Nunchuck attacker said he wanted to kill his mother

Kasey Heermann
Kasey Heermann

Kasey Heermann told Yamhill County Sheriff's Deputy Todd Steele that he repeatedly struck his mother with nunchucks and his fist, in addition to kicking her in the back, because he wanted to kill her at their Lafayette home Saturday afternoon.

During the attack on his mother, the 28-year-old Heermann also turned on his sister, striking her with the nunchucks. He said it wasn't his intention to kill her. He said he wanted to let her know how serious he was, and to punish her.

Heermann, who has no previous criminal record, was arraigned Monday afternoon before Circuit Court Judge John Collins on one count each of attempted murder and second-degree criminal mischief, and two counts each of first-degree assault, strangulation and unlawful use of a weapon.

With the exception of the criminal mischief charge, a Class A misdemeanor, all the charges are felonies. Some fall  under Measure 11 mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines.

Heermann originally was booked into jail on $165,000 bail, but Deputy District Attorney Amanda Dresen requested a bail of $500,000, and characterized the defendant as a "severe public safety risk." Collins ordered bail at that amount.

Heermann appeared for his arraignment via video, and Collins asked him if could read and understand a document that outlined the charges. While he said he could, Collins told him he wasn't certain of that, so he read each of the charges aloud. Heermann sat with his head bowed the entire time.

Sgt. Chris Ray identified Heermann's victims as his mother, Denda M. Waters, 51, and Kelsay D. Winokur, 30, of Florence, on the South Oregon coast.

Waters was transported by Life Flight helicopter to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland with critical injures.  Winokur  was taken by McMinnville Fire Department ambulance to the Willamette Valley Medical Center with serious injuries.

Steele reported in a probable cause affidavit that Waters sustained a head injury, and will lose her left eye. Winokur suffered a broken right hand and laceration on her head that required 10 staples to close.

Steele gave this account of the incident:

Deputies were dispatched about 1 p.m. to a domestic assault involving a weapon at the Pioneer Park Mobile Estates, 1282 E. Third St., No. 82, which is located on the north end of Lafayette.

Steele located both victims. He said Waters was inside the residence, bleeding from a head wound, lacerated ear and the eye injury, and Winokur was outside, bleeding from a head injury.

They both identified Heermann as their attacker. He was present at the scene, covered in blood, and was taken into custody.

Steele said he located a set of broken nunchucks inside the door of the residence. Nunchucks are a martial arts weapon consisting of two sticks connected at one end by a short chain or rope.

Heermann said he struck his mother in the head two or three times. He also punched her two or three times in the head with a closed fist. He followed that up with a kick to the back.

Heermann said he only struck his sister once with the nunchucks. During the assault, Dresen said Winokur was holding two children, nine months and one-month-old. She locked herself in the bathroom, but he broke the door down in an attempt to get at her. Once inside the bathroom, she said her brother choked her.

While Dresen did not address a motive for the attack, Ray said "mental health issues" might have been a contributing factor. The case will be referred to Yamhill County Mental Health for review.

Collins appointed McMinnville attorney Michael Finch to handle Heermann's defense. He will return to court at 1:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 28, for a preliminary hearing, at which time he could be arraigned on a grand jury indictment.














Wow, this will mess up his returning to Harvard.


He only accepted appointment to the endowed chair, Lulu, provided he could lift it and wield it menacingly overhead.

(Disclaimer: I am not making light of domestic violence but of the oafish boobs who commit it.)


Bi-polar mental illness is devastating. Hopefully our American society will learn how to work with these diseases.


Any suggestions come immediately to mind, kona?


No suggestions. It is really a difficult situation when people who are bi-polar do not stay on their prescribed medicine. In the manic stage many often feel they are fine and don't take the drugs. Then in the depressive stage they don't care. A good support system is very important but it is unfortunately that many do not have a support system. Our prisons are filled with these mentally ill people.


Who said anything about his being bi-polar?
Isn't anybody responsible for anything? Try telling the critically ill sister, if she pulls through, how he was simply having a bad day.


I am distantly familiar with the family. I got a reliable explanation.


If Heermann is bi-polar it does not absolve him of responsibility. He will likely go to prison and get to play with many other bi-polar afflicted inmates. It won't cost us as much as sending him to Harvard, but it might be enough to get through Oregon State or Lewis and Clark. Then he will be back. His family, if they are still alive, will again be in danger. The rest of us who might come across Heermann on a bad day will also be in danger. One solution I've heard about was medication in time caps under the skin. Another is weekly monitoring for behavior and blood tests for medications. If he doesn't show, someone goes and looks for him.


"...said he wanted to kill his mother."

Why no charge of attempted murder in the first of his mother?


The story notes:
"Heermann, who has no previous criminal record, was arraigned Monday afternoon before Circuit Court Judge John Collins on one count each of attempted murder and criminal mischief."
The attempted murder charge stems from his attempt to kill his mother.


Thank you, Steve.

I'd interpreted the charge of second-degree criminal mischief, a class A felony as being more elevated than the charge of attempted murder, as it is noted to be the sole class A felony charge

I had assumed there to be varying degree's of attempted murder, as well. Apparently there are not. My bad.


Criminal mischief is a Class A misdemeanor. The rest of the charges are all felonies.
Attempted murder, which has no degrees, is a Class A felony falling under Measure 11. And it is, indeed, the most serious of the array of serious charges being brought here.
I have edited the story to clarify.


It sure would be nice if we had an efficient system of mental health treatment in this country. Some people should be put in a mental facility for treatment and ongoing monitoring after release. No one wants to "put people in treatment" against their will, but it is necessary for their own safety and that of others.


I agree, Mudstump. All too often, the act of institutionalization requires commission of a single horrible act before it can be implemented. While this speaks well to the broad concept of living in a free society, it's too late for that to be any consolation to victims. I think it's time to weigh the potential for harm as opposed to actual harm, already committed.


Why not include any and all those suspected of gang membership as well? You know, for their potential to harm, as apposed to actual harm to others?

Why draw the line with such narrow a focus, Trafik?


Using that logic, we could lock up anyone who might ever possibly commit any crime in advance. Why not lock us all up, everyone?

The potential for criminal wrongdoing by the citizenry at large versus the potential for criminal wrongdoing by those with demonstrable mental illnesses able to be established by accepted medical protocols are two entirely different things. I am certainly not advocating the institutionalization of all sufferers of mental illness. But it might be time to reexamine how we monitor and supervise those who might harm themselves or others. At the very least, it would be a worthwhile conversation.

Meanwhile, when we meet in the Yamhill County Jail, Tubbs, I'll be the one there because I might be inclined to flaunt speed limits and thumb my nose at McMinnville's single omnipresent motorcycle traffic enforcement officer.


"Using that logic, we could lock up anyone who might ever possibly commit any crime in advance. Why not lock us all up, everyone?"

How in the hell did you interpret my suggestion to mean/call for the locking up of everyone?

Are not the 'gangbanging' members of inner-city gangs, murdering, extorting through fear, raping and terrorizing on a much vastly larger scale than the number of those having been diagnosed mentally ill?

Oh, I get it, the disparate impact on certain groups of people ie. Hispanic & African-American folks, would be...well...unconscionably too harsh to entertain.

So, having recognized that, as being too unconscionable to consider, we'll just focus our energy towards subjugating the constitutional rights of the mentally ill, based solely on the documented behavior/inclinations of others.Rright?


The story, Tubbs, is focused on a man who may be suffering from mental illness. The ensuing discussion, predictably, was focused on mental illness.

When you introduced the topic of gang members, asking why "... such narrow a focus..?" I failed to see how they had anything to do with either the story or the discussion, so I replied in a mildly sarcastic manner.

I continue to fail to see how either gang membership or issues of race have anything to do with this story or discussion thread but perhaps it's well beyond my mettle. From time to time, the great thinkers have been known to stymie the rest of us with their complex logic.


"The story, Tubbs, is focused on a man who may be suffering from mental illness." -Trafik

That is correct, this a story about actions of 'one man'. It is You, as well as a few other commenters here, that apparently feel others suffering from the disorder should/need to be subjected to closer scrutiny and/or subjective judgment based on the behavior/actions of others. No?


Crap! And I'd just cleared space between Tolstoy and Voltaire in my personal library. Guess I'll have to put Turing back on the shelf.

Failure to follow well-established treatment protocols in certain mental illnesses can result in instabilities with catastrophic consequences. To pretend otherwise is idealistically naïve. At the very least, we should be having a conversation about mitigating such events.

Or we could remain content with the status quo and continue to wring our hands whenever these things happen.

One option seems decidedly more attractive to me.


Trafik - I agree with you. It seems that our prison system has become the receptacle for those with mental illness. It is a shame that we don't have a better system for identifying and treating those with mental illness before they act out and harm others.

I know of a woman whose son committed a crime and was sentenced to ten years in prison. She fought for years to get her son the treatment he needed while serving time and she was largely ignored. When he gets out he will be the same (or worse) mentally ill man he was the day he entered prison. This lack of a strong mental health system is making our world less safe. I would rather have my tax dollars spent on prevention instead of prison.


Agreed. And if not prevention, at least a penal structure truly capable of rehabilitating its population.

We pay lip service to having a criminal justice system focused on rehabilitation but I see little evidence to support this. While the punitive component is fundamental to an offender "paying his or her debt to society," we cannot expect offenders to be released -- as most surely will be -- fully rehabilitated without comprehensive programs that address and treat substance abuse, mental illness, anger management and a host of other conditions common among the prison population. Halfhearted programs with unstable funding and waiting lists don't offer much long-term success.

Meanwhile our prisons sometimes seem to function as criminal colleges, cranking out "graduates" who are more adept at bad behavior and more inclined to make bad choices than they were before. This serves no one -- not victims, not offenders, certainly not public safety.


Very well said, Trafik. I am left wondering if substance abuse, mental illness and anger management programs would be as necessary if we also put some money into mandatory parenting programs for high school and even college students. I think it could be money well spent and result in savings in the long-run. We need to get off this wheel of perpetual dysfunction.


Excellent point, Mudstump.

Included in the " of other conditions common among the prison population..." is the lack of emotional, vocational and functional skillsets young people need to live in the real world. To provide these critical components before a young adult becomes an offender would be far more efficient (and compassionate) than trying to teach him or her long after such basic competence was needed.

Other regular contributors to this forum will no doubt point out that these life skills are not the duty of the state -- they are the duties of parents. While that may be true in theory (and possibly formerly in practice), it is not the reality of today. Very broadly stated, when people are unable to take care of themselves, someone has to step in and do it for them.

One of the characteristics setting an advanced society apart from the third world is its ability -- and willingness -- to tend its members who need tending. This might include the poor, the elderly, the sick and maybe even young adults with few skills and little hope for the future.

We could argue until the cows come home whether or not things should be this way. But as long as they are, we need to do something about it.


"Meanwhile, when we meet at the Yamhill County Jail, Tubbs, I'll be the one there because I might be inclined to flaunt the speed limits and thumb my nose at McMinnville's at the single omnipresent motorcycle traffic enforcement officer." -Trafik

The Last time I'd visited the Yamhill County Jail, was to drop off a quart of my world famous 'Dragons Breath Mustard', so Sheriffs Deputies would have a gourmet condiment to slather on their micro-waved corn dogs, over in their jailhouse break room.

Try to time your next arrest sometime late November/early December, and maybe, just maybe, you'll have an of opportunity to 'wink' back at me. You know, from your side of the glass.


Seems a shame to waste a gourmet condiment like your world-famous Dragon's Breath Mustard on a microwaved meal, Tubbs. On the other hand, in this neck of the woods there are a lot of Lean Cuisine® fanciers who might like mustard.

Maybe, since you're advocating free-range unsupervised mentally ill, you could slip a little thorazine into your mustard before you deliver it.


"Maybe, since you're advocating...."

Quote please.


I do like mustard. I also like people who can't remember what they said.

"... this a story about actions of 'one man'. It is You, as well as a few other commenters here, that apparently feel others suffering from the disorder should/need to be subjected to closer scrutiny..."

"..we'll just focus our energy towards subjugating the constitutional rights of the mentally ill, based solely on the documented behavior/inclinations of others..."

"... this a story about actions of 'one man'. It is You, as well as a few other commenters here, that apparently feel others suffering from the disorder should/need to be subjected to closer scrutiny..."

That was easy.


Easy, really?

Well, actually, the hard part would be for you to quote me as advocating anything?

Free range, huh? Quote please.

You're the one advocating for the subjugation of constitutional rights from a specific class of people, even if, the people in that specific class have yet to committed a crime.

Try again.


And because I suspect I know where this is going:

Mental illness sucks. I am glad I do not suffer from it. But considerable evidence exists to suggest that many of those who do suffer from its effects must follow carefully-constructed protocols. In a compelling number of cases, failure to follow these protocols can result in instabilities that put the patient and his or her loved ones (and the general public) at significant risk. Enough so that people like me insist that these protocols are monitored and guaranteed by mental health professionals.

While your sense of personal liberty might wish those with mental illness a generous amount of freedom, Tubbs, the rest of us appreciate the security provided by a comprehensive mental health system that attempts to mitigate the risk by supervising those who might harm us.

But I'd love to sample your mustard. If I liked it, I might even write about it.


Perhaps you're just better at hiding your own than most, Trafik.

As for my 'Dragons Breath'... perhaps Paul Daquilante himself might chime-in and, share his review of my proprietary blend.


I only hide my drinking.

Statistics show that the mentally ill are disproportionately represented in the prison population, that's true. The mentally ill are more likely to be victims than offenders -- we can agree on that.

That said, McMinnvillians such as me demand a certain amount of accountability among our mentally ill. We'd like to think our local mental health professionals are actually supervising their caseloads, providing me (and my children) with a certain amount of security in our day-to-day lives, so that men like Kasey Heermann don't menace us with their broken nunchucks. That's essentially all we're asking.

And how do you know I'm not Paul Daquilante? (I'm not but...)


Why hide your drinking, Trafik?


A little girl by the name of Saige, very recently lost her life. She was killed by a drunken driver, out here on Grand Ronde Road.

Try to imagine the level 'shame & regret' that that driver is experiencing at this moment.

Trafik, people that feel a need to be better at hiding their drinking, are those most often in need of mental health counseling.

Seek help, my friend.


It was a joke, Tubbs, and had nothing to do with driving or other dangerous and irresponsible behavior.

To introduce the death of an innocent child to this conversation in the manner you do is both tasteless and utterly unnecessary.


"It was a joke...." -Trafik aka Joker

Nowhere throughout this commenting thread have I seen the injection of humor, as being in anyway appropriate.

Whereas You, Trafik, have exhibited some kind of need to make multiple juvenile posts on such a very serious topic.

It is not I, but You, that has chosen to make both 'tasteless and utterly unnecessary' comments.

Just curious, Paul Daquilante, was it a drunken driver or some mentally ill person that killed that young girl?

Having been killed on the 21st one would think that by now, 9 days later on the 30th, you'd have written and had published the particulars concerning her tragic death.


In the course of normal adult conversations, Tubbs, levity is sometimes injected. Occasionally this repartee is targeted at the absurdity of the subject matter itself (an attack with broken nunchucks) or, in a forum like this, at the remarks of other contributors ("...returning to Harvard."). Knowing when and where to exercise jocularity is a hallmark of one's ability to engage in intelligent discourse. Often, such flippancy is more subtly targeted than a quick read might indicate.

Those who routinely take the remarks of others -- in this thread and so many others -- and clumsily try to turn them around on those who made them (all the while congratulating themselves on their own cleverness) demonstrate a lack of understanding of the finer points of conversation.

But the beauty is they don't even understand that.


There is always room in your library, Trafik, for The Big Book.


My autographed copy, Lulu, was confiscated when it was discovered that Bill W[redacted] inadvertently signed it using his entire name.

Disclaimer: That was a joke, Tubbs, directed at the comment of another reader. It in no way pokes fun at domestic violence, addiction, mental illness or any other affliction/condition/state at which you might take offense. Further, it makes no light of any treatment program/group/philosophy which you may be inclined to defend. Although I do enjoy watching you wield your crisp logic and razor-sharp wit with such ruthless efficiency...


Quote please.


“It is by vivacity and wit that man shines in company; but trite jokes and loud laughter reduce him to a buffoon.” -- Lord Chesterfield


All this time I thought it was "bassoon."


So did the principal buffoonist from the Cove Orchard symphony.

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